ACMH ribbon cutting

ON HAND FOR LAST WEEK’S ribbon cutting at ACHM Hospital in Kittanning were (from left to right): Jackie Lowes, Community Relations Coordinator, ACMH Foundation; Kurt Blodgett, Director of Physics Operations, Allegheny Health Network (AHN); John Lewis, President and CEO, ACMH Hospital; Dr. David Parda, Professor and System Chair, AHN Cancer Institute/Department of Oncology; Nichole Geraci, Vice President of Patient Services and Operations, ACMH Hospital; Dr. Tracy Klayton, Radiation Oncologist, ACMH Hospital and AHN; and Dana Klingensmith, Nurse Manager, ACMH Hospital.

KITTANNING – ACMH Hospital hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony last Thursday, Jan. 25, to celebrate its new Linear Accelerator.

Located in the Richard G. Laube Cancer Center on the ACMH campus, the state-of-the-art equipment is used to deliver radiation treatments to patients faster and more efficiently than ever before.

The new equipment, which began treating patients on Jan. 10, is also improving the quality of existing cancer programs, hospital officials said. Most notably, the new linear accelerator has a “cone beam” CT scanner, which allows staff to directly visualize the target immediately before treatment delivery. This ensures that nearby critical structures are not getting more radiation than intended. Ultimately, this results in better tumor control with fewer side effects.

Additionally, ACMH will now be able to offer hypofractionated prostate radiotherapy, which cuts the treatment duration for prostate cancer from eight weeks to five and a half weeks, lessening the inconvenience of a prolonged treatment course. The linear accelerator also offers volumetric arc therapy, a way to deliver complicated plans rapidly and precisely — this translates to less time spent on the treatment table and less discomfort for patients.

“It’s not easy being a cancer patient,” said Dr. Tracy Klayton, radiation oncologist at ACMH. “Here at the Richard G. Laube Cancer Center, we are unified in the goal of easing the journey as much as possible. It is a privilege to work with this compassionate crew who treats their patients as family.”

ACMH has been in a collaborative relationship with Allegheny Health Network (AHN); the two organizations work together to deliver the best possible cancer care in the Armstrong County region.

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